While I understand why these things tend to be opt-out by default, I'm surprised there was no email from Verizon updating users about these new settings with a link to opt-out if they wanted to.
I used to think that the telecom industry is a lot more regulated than social network companies like Facebook, but I guess that's not really true!
Did some digging and the email subject was: Important Update Regarding Your Privacy
It has various sections on what will be used and how with a call to action at the bottom listing your options.
Opening text: Why am I getting this notice?
Your choices section:
If you do not want us to use your information for any of the purposes described above, please let us know at any time by:
• Visiting www.vzw.com/myprivacy
• Calling 1-866-211-0874
But I can easily imagine some lawyer-type dreamed up such a clause but failed to tell anyone else in the business about it.
Does this mean they'll start replacing website ads with their own ads, like some wifi programs do?
Does Verizon software on phones have advertisements? Maybe they are going to start doing that.
The telecom industry has so effectively captured their regulator that when they are caught tapping phones without warrant they are exempted from lawsuits instead of prosecuted vigorously.
If you offered a non-compliant unlimited data/voice/voicemail plan for $20 a month you'd have people lined up around the block, no one would care your phone won't work with CALEA and no one would care that your address wasn't in the 911 database. You'd also be extremely profitable using off the shelf hardware like software radios, and non-compliant open source telephony software.
"Wiretaps cost hundreds of dollars per target every month, generally paid at daily or monthly rates. To wiretap a customer’s phone, T-Mobile charges law enforcement a flat fee of $500 per target"
The process might take a while, but they eventually get results. They rely on the public to report incidents:
Having multiple people report a claim is good. Also, capturing screenshots etc. of everything you find,since they have a tendency to change and disappear quickly :)
I'm familiar with the targeting technology that's being rolled out and the people/companies involved with the project. They've extensively briefed both FCC and FTC plus key members of congress, and have received a tacit blessing to proceed because of a double-blind hardware technology involved to limit the identification of individuals, and the measures taken so far to alert consumers.
Not to say that it's good or bad to do this. But a company like verizon isn't going to proceed without covering their ass from a regulatory perspective.
Actually, many of those tweets have links, so in some sense Twitter competes with HN as a link aggregator, not with Google+ as a primary source.
App.net doesn't have a limit on message length?
The service won't actually be used for "micro-blogging" unless users are constrained by some limit, but 144 is too damn small. Nobody would ever have picked it if they weren't forced to, and these days they aren't.
What infinitesimal fraction of modern Twitter users in App.net's target market do you imagine use the service via SMS? The limit a legacy of an irrelevant use case.
I'd probably have gone a bit higher than 256 myself (disregarding attachment to powers of two), but it's an improvement.
The funny thing is that in languages like Japanese and Chinese, where one "character" contains a lot more info than one Latin letter, Twitter is used in quite a different way.
If you go beyond 140 it is then no longer a microblog post, but rather just an ordinary blog post.
Edit: I should say, AT&T does something similar. I do not know if it is the same thing, since their opt-out page makes it sound rather innocuous compared to the vague language used in the mailed letter. CPNI = Customer Proprietary Network Information
You can find more information from their AdWorks division: http://adworks.att.com/press.html
If they were to begin network sniffing, they could potentially build powerful user profiles that would be more valuable than Facebook's data (and truly "frictionless"). Your passive internet browsing would start influencing the commercials you see on TV.
If you're trying to opt out and it isn't working for any reason, attempt it again during normal business hours (9-5, EST or PST) and see if it does work. As ridiculous as it seems, many functions cannot be performed outside of this window including registering my billing account. Try again tomorrow around midday and those mysterious "timeouts", "unknown errors", etc may magically disappear. If not, your provider should have a phone number you can call (oh, goody) to take care of the same thing.
Visit http://www.vzw.com/myprivacy. If you are not already signed in to My Verizon, you will be prompted to sign in – after doing so, return to that myprivacy page.
Click the link “Manage Location Privacy settings” near the bottom, which points to https://locationmanagement.vzw.com/
You should now be at “Location Management” > “Location Privacy Settings”. I’m guessing that this is where you actually opt-out. I’m not sure because there’s nothing for me to do here – I see “There are no services available. A location service must be downloaded on the handset to be listed here.”.
(Dunno who would sign up for a paid Verizon mapping service, though...)
Two weeks later, I got a letter in the mail. Written outside on the envelope was something like: "We noticed you were checking out our website! Here's a special offer just for you..."
It's not the same as what OP posted, but it certainly left me creeped out.
Actually, it's quite difficult to fail to send someone a letter. The post office does try pretty hard to deliver mail.
How is this isolated example of snail-mail marketing at all creepy? As long as it's Verizon and not a third party, it isn't strange at all.
Something can be really common and still really creepy.
Don't count on it. I'm constantly pestered by Verizon to buy their FiOS service, and FiOS isn't available in my apartment complex.
I'll generally enter another address in the neighborhood.
Most had a small box to uncheck to avoid a marketing follow up phone call.
But at least one company didn't have a box--they just had a message saying that if you entered your phone number to check for service, they would call you at some unspecified later date. There was no way to opt out.
Needless to say, I didn't buy their DSL.
Well, they're probably still selling your personal data, but not in this specific instance.
A VPN would be the only option to keeping them completely blind? I can set up a VPN on an Amazon micro instance for free. The amount of data used should be nothing or mere pennies per month to Amazon.
The only trouble is keeping a VPN up. I find on an iPhone at least that while once working, it works reliably, but keeping it working is unreliable. It seems when you transition from one network to another, one wifi to another, one cell tower to smother, or from wifi to cell and vice versa, the connection can often drop.
I wish there was a setting like "auto connect VPN when any data request is made".
I've tried VPN's from Amazon of my own creation as well as the VPN included with my GigaNews account.
I'm sure running the VPN on your mobile is great for battery life.
As a VPN user for closed to ten years nw (yes, I am that paranoid/live in a tough-on-downloads region) I can honestly say, that its benefits outweigh the negatives by far. But it takes some time to find a stable VPN service, that fits to your expectations.
I'm in the process of looking for a solid VPN provider myself, and this is the impression I'm getting after reading the terms & conditions for services like Private Internet Access and VyprVPN.
Make the internet more like the telephone network, not the TV network. People do not like to be hounded by telemarketers day and night.
With TV, it's a lost cause.
Perhaps what would work better is flooding these marketers with false information. This is what hampers email lists. Most the addresses do not work.
As it stands the few (or many) people who fail to "opt-out" (or fail to use proxies) may make this sort of personal information sales market worthwhile because the information gathered is detailed and reasonably accurate. It's not just a list of disposable email addresses. It's higher quality.
For each section, select the option you want, then in console run chgCPNI(); or chgReports(); or chgAds(); depending on which section you changed.
From the Verizon customer privacy settings page.
I tried speaking with a CS agent who had no idea what privacy settings I was talking about and then said it does not apply to pre-pay customers. I think she was just trying to get me off the line.
So I'm not sure if this applies to iPad customers or if it is possible to opt out.
"...we need your permission to share this information among our affiliates, agents and parent companies (including Vodafone) and their subsidiaries."
Location Based Services ("LBS") Privacy Settings
A location service is any service that provides access to location information, such as maps of places of interest and turn-by-turn directions, on your handset. These services may require Verizon Wireless to access the location of your handset. For location services you use that are supported by Verizon Wireless, you can Manage Location Privacy settings.
Customer Proprietary Network Information Settings
As a provider of certain telecommunications services, Verizon Wireless collects certain information that is made available to us solely by virtue of our relationship with you, such as quantity, technical configuration, type, destination, location and amount of use of the telecommunications services you purchase. This information and related billing information is known as Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI). The Federal Communications Commission and other regulators require the Verizon Companies to protect your CPNI.
Verizon Wireless shares information among our affiliates and parent companies (including Vodafone) and their subsidiaries unless you advise us not to. Sharing this information allows us to provide you with the latest information about our products and services and to offer you our latest promotions.
Settings Don't Share My CPNI OK to Share My CPNI
Business & Marketing Reports
Verizon Wireless may use mobile usage information and consumer Information for certain business and marketing reports. Mobile usage information includes the addresses or information in URLs (such as search terms) of websites you visit when you use our wireless service, the location of your device ("Location Information"), and your use of applications and features. Consumer information includes information about your use of Verizon products and services (such as data and calling features,device type, and amount of use) as well as demographic and interest categories provided to us by other companies (such as gender, age range, sports fan, frequent diner, or pet owner). We will combine this information in a manner that does not personally identify you. We will use this information to prepare business and marketing reports that we may use ourselves or share with others. We may also share Location Information with other companies in a way that does not personally identify you. We will allow these companies to produce limited business and marketing reports. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about these reports.
You have a choice about whether we use your information for these reports.
Settings Don't use my information
for aggregate reports OK to use my information
for aggregate reports
Can someone explain the doubtless backward and sloppy thinking that would convince Verizon that they should forbid their users from including symbols in their passwords?
I don't think it even remotely adds to the discussion to pick some usability issue and harp on it. These kind of comments crop up for every story. Easy way to score points, not useful, buries better comments.
I think a good rule of thumb is that if you didn't need to read the article to make a comment, it's not a good comment.
A: Mazal tov. I enjoy the magical thinking that makes your meta comment more valuable than my meta comment.
B: This isn't a usability issue. This is a security issue.
C: It's not an "article." It's a tweet. So we don't have a lot of deep meaty content to work with here. Are you a bot? Did you read it?
Flagging is expensive, in that it requires mod (human) attention. It should be reserved for spam and other egregious posts. Let the mods spend their valuable time on more important tasks.
I would very much like to get moderators' attention or feedback on this. I don't think these kind of comments should be banned, but I think they would be curbed if there was a community guideline.
There could be a level of automation built into this where X number of high reputation members flag something, it could automatically be banned.
Either way, I think flagging is more fitting to abuse than off-topic. I agree with you that it would be great to get a mod to weigh in on this.
I emailed info@yc about my lack of flagging ability a couple months back. They said nothing was wrong with my account. Now I feel bad that I wasted someone's time. :(
Neither Google nor Facebook sell user data, they hold it close and sell ads against it.
I just switched to Verizon from another carrier and didn't know about this. I much appreciated the post.